Exhibitions

We are the robots: Bipedal Walker, built by David Buckley and the Shadow Robot Project Group, 1987–97

Will our love affair with robots land us in the Natural History Museum?

10 December 2016 9:00 am

Will our love affair with robots send us the way of the dinosaurs? Bryan Appleyard thinks it might

‘Bed’, 1955, by Robert Rauschenberg

The first half is essential – the second much less so: Tate's Robert Rauschenberg reviewed

3 December 2016 9:00 am

Robert Rauschenberg, like Autolycus in The Winter’s Tale, was a ‘snapper-up of unconsidered trifles’. Unlike Shakespeare’s character, however, he made…

‘Scenes of the Private and Public Life of the Animals’, 1842, by J.J. Grandville

An entertaining show at Marian Goodman Gallery – where the joke’s on us

26 November 2016 9:00 am

Ernest Hemingway loved going to the zoo, but not on Sundays. The reason, he explained, was that, ‘I don’t like…

The Elephant House at London Zoo, designed in 1964 by Casson Conder Partnership

Want to understand your animal side? Head to the Wellcome Collection

19 November 2016 9:00 am

We’ll do anything to forget we are animals. Charles Foster hails a forthcoming exhibition that makes us face up to reality

The white stuff: drawing showing sections of the stucco interiors at 20 Portman Square, c.1775, by Robert Adam

Three cheers for stucco – which The Spectator once called 'immoral'

19 November 2016 9:00 am

Whenever the words ‘stucco house’ appear in the newspapers, you can be certain the occupiers have been up to no…

‘Shelter Scenes, Tilbury’ by Edward Ardizzone

Edward Ardizzone – the English Daumier

19 November 2016 9:00 am

It’s funny, isn’t it, how a dust jacket on a book can draw you to it from the other end…

‘The Judgement of Paris’, 1933, by William Roberts

When the world falls apart, you go back to the start: Classicism in British Art reviewed

12 November 2016 9:00 am

The catalogue to Pallant House Gallery’s latest exhibition features a favourite anecdote. It is 1924 and a competition is being…

Harry Beck's tube map sketch. Photo: Victoria & Albert Museum © TfL

Maps are as much about art – and lies – as science

29 October 2016 9:00 am

Maps reveal the psychology of their creators as much as they describe topography, says Stephen Bayley

Models wearing the original topless bathing suit by Rudi Gernreich

Is anything vulgar anymore? I wish it were

29 October 2016 9:00 am

To use a vulgar phrase, I can’t get my head around this exhibition. It seems anything but ‘vulgar’. Daintily laid…

Visionary: ‘Battle of Germany’, 1944, by Paul Nash

Wonderfully mellow, rich and strange: Paul Nash at Tate Britain reviewed

29 October 2016 9:00 am

In 1932 Paul Nash posed the question, is it possible to ‘go modern’ and still ‘be British?’ — a conundrum…

Detail from ‘Spring’, 2015, by Tony Cragg

March of the makers: the return of sculpture

29 October 2016 9:00 am

Until earlier this year, a squat sculpture nestled rather unobtrusively outside 20 Manchester Square in Marylebone, an address once made…

'Landscape with a Waterfall, Second Version' (c.1625-1627)  by Hercules Segers. Etching. Photo: Rijksmuseum

The forgotten Dutch artist who was two centuries ahead of his time

29 October 2016 9:00 am

In debates about what should and should not be taught in art school, the subject of survival skills almost never…

‘Portrait of Lee Miller as l’Arlésienne’, 1937, by Pablo Picasso

Was Picasso making fun of the subjects of his portraits?

22 October 2016 9:00 am

As a chat-up line it was at least unusual. On 8 January 1927, a 46-year-old man approached a young woman…

Iranian celestial globe (1362-63), brass inlaid with silver

Muslim magic – Islam has always dabbled in the occult

15 October 2016 9:00 am

Islam has always dabbled in the dark arts, says Justin Marozzi

Hollywood lighting: ‘The Taking of Christ’ (1602) by Caravaggio. Photo: The National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin

Caravaggio blasts everything else off the walls in the National Gallery’s new show

15 October 2016 9:00 am

We don’t know what Caravaggio himself would have made of Beyond Caravaggio, the new exhibition at the National Gallery which…

Part of a horse trapper probably made for Edward III’s court. Photo: RMN-Grand Palais (Musée de Cluny — Musée National du Moyen Âge)/Franck Raux

Embroidery: the great British art form

8 October 2016 9:00 am

For much of the Middle Ages, especially from 1250–1350, ‘English work’ was enormously prized around Europe from Spain to Iceland.…

‘An indefinite, half attained, unimaginable sublimity ...that fairly froze you to it, till you involuntarily took an oath with yourself to find out what that marvellous painting meant’:
‘Blue Poles’, 1952, by Jackson Pollock

Majestic, exhilarating and overpowering: Royal Academy’s Abstract Expressionism reviewed

1 October 2016 9:00 am

Martin Gayford is dazzled by the scale, majesty and visual power of the Royal Academy’s Abstract Expressionism show

George Cruikshank’s illustration for ‘Oliver Twist’ by Charles Dickens

Mutton, potatoes and ale – how children ate in the 19th century

24 September 2016 9:00 am

Modern Britain scratches its head over children who are overfed, not underfed, while guilt-ridden mothers stand accused of feeding children…

‘Carcase of an Ox’, by the circle of Rembrandt

Decomposing women, preserved nipples & putrefaction: Flesh at York Art Gallery reviewed

24 September 2016 9:00 am

For a 21st-century gallery, a Victorian collection can be an embarrassment. Tate Modern got around the problem by offloading its…

We, too, are America: children and members of the San Francisco chapter of the National Council of Negro Women at a voter registration motorcade, 1956

How helpful is it for America to have a museum dedicated to African American culture?

24 September 2016 9:00 am

‘A fool’s errand’. That is how Lonnie Bunch, founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and…

‘The Sombre Malembo, God of the Crossroads’, 1943, by Wifredo Lam

This large Tate Modern exhibition is cruel to Wifredo Lam

17 September 2016 9:00 am

‘My painting is an act of decolonisation,’ declared Wifredo Lam. These are the first words you read on entering the…

Natural high: John Sebastian’s acoustic set at Woodstock, 1969

A great retro shop with a dreary message: V&A’s You Say You Want a Revolution? reviewed

10 September 2016 9:00 am

Back in the high optimism of the 2008 presidential campaign, one of Barack Obama’s more extravagant hopes was that ‘the…

One of the Maunsell Forts at Red Sands near Whitstable: built during world war two as an anti-aircraft gun tower, it became the home of pirate radio in the 1960s

Estuarial towns are an architectural utopia, says Jonathan Meades

3 September 2016 9:00 am

Estuarial towns are an architectural utopia — and the source of some sublimely weird sights, says Jonathan Meades

‘Apple Blossoms’, 1873, by Charles-François Daubigny

The man who who invented impressionism

23 July 2016 9:00 am

The last boat I saw in the galleries on the Mound was a canoe that the Scottish painter Jock McFadyen…

‘The Deluge’, 1920, by Winifred Knights

Piero della Francesca meets Dalí: Winifred Knights at Dulwich Picture Gallery reviewed

9 July 2016 9:00 am

‘Hidden beauty is best (half seen), faces turned away.’ So noted a young English painter named Winifred Knights in 1924.…